While most people outside of Europe won’t recognize the name, Philippe Noiret was a wonderful actor, and even if they don’t remember his name they might remember his performance as Alfredo the movie projectionist in Cinema Paradiso.
I cry at movies. My second-favorite movie is a real tearjerker and I’ve watched it repeatedly, which causes other family members to ask why do I torment myself – it’s not a pretty sight (no one looks good crying, unless they’re in a movie). Cinema Paradiso is not my most favorite movie but it is an excellent film.
I saw Cinema Paradiso with my friend G. when it first came out in 1988 .
G. really got crying early on in the film. I remained cool, with the sad story about Salvatore the poor little kid and the kindly Alfredo rolling right along, until the part where Alfredo projects the movie on the walls by the town square. That really caught my attention. The scene where Salvatore puts together all the censored love scenes that Alfredo had saved got me into a torrent of tears – to this day my eyes water if I hear the love theme music that played during that scene.
Of course this was cause for much hilarity from my friend’s then-teenage son, who had come with us to what his father referred to as “those weird foreign movies G. and Fausta are so fond of” because his game got rained out.
Noiret was also known in the USA for his part as Pablo Neruda in The Postman (a.k.a. Il Postino, NOT to be confused with the Kevin Costner yawner).
Noiret was just fabulous in that he never acted, he did.
Here are a few of his fims, which are also available from Netflix.